Image of the Air Force wings with the museum name underneath

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
FREE Admission & Parking

Science, Discovery & Family Fun Event

Science, Discovery and Family Fun

Sunday, Jan. 13, from 1 – 4 p.m.


This will be a fun event for young people and their families and will feature interactive science and technology displays and demonstrations and a performance by the Air Force Band of Flight.  The event is free and open to the public. Among the many demonstrations planned are robotics, virtual reality, flight simulation, wind tunnel, rocketry, optics, fuel cells, engineering structures and scanning electron microscopes. Maj. Gen. William Cooley, Air Force Research Laboratory commander, will kick off the event at 1 p.m. Demos and displays open at 1:15 p.m. and the Air Force Band of Flight will perform at 2:30 p.m. FREE Virtual Reality and Simulator rides throughout the day!



Sunday January 13, 2019, 1-4 p.m.


9:30 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.     FREE Virtual Reality and 
                                        Simulator rides(Bldgs. 2&4)

1 p.m.                             Opening Program(Main Stage)
                                        Remarks by Maj. Gen.
                                        William T. Cooley
                                        AFRL Commander

                                        Remarks by Gov.-elect Mike
                                        DeWine and Mrs. Fran DeWine

1:20 p.m.                         Demonstrations/Displays
                                         (Buildings 2,3,4)

1:45 - 2:10 p.m.              Air Force Band of Flight
                                        musical performance
                                        Main Stage(4th Building)

2:30 - 3:00 p.m.              All-Ohio State Fair Youth Choir
                                        Choir Stage(4th Building)

3:00 - 3:30 p.m.              Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
                                        Main Stage Performance

                                        (4th Building)

3:30 - 4:00p.m.                Interactive animal encounter
                                        (4th Building Global Reach 
                                        Learning Node near C-82)

4 p.m.                              Event concludes

Note: Events and guest speakers are subject to change.

Printable Event List and Map

Entrance and Parking

The entrance to the National Museum of the United States Air Force is on Springfield Street at historic Wright Field (Gate 28B), Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, six miles northeast of Dayton, Ohio. Admission and parking are FREE. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day. 

The museum's address is: 
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB, OH 45433

Phone Number: (937) 255-3286

Security Notice

Please note that for security reasons, all bags are subject to search, and weapons are not permitted within the museum. In addition, all adults may be asked to show their picture identification card upon entering the museum.

Science Demonstrations and Activities

Science Demonstrations and Activities Provided by the 

National Museum of the USAF and the Air Force Research Laboratory

Energy Bike

An “Energy Bike” is used to teach energy consumption and energy conversion. This provides students with a way to understand and compare the amount of energy required to power an electronic device like a cell phone, or different kinds of light bulbs, with the amount of energy they are able to produce by pedaling a bicycle.

This demo will introduce students to geometric, or ray optics, and their applications to cloaking technology. Students will look through a cloaking device to see that stealth technology can cause objects, such as airplanes, spaceships or individuals, to be partially or wholly invisible to parts of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum! It is an exciting way to introduce wave properties and light phenomena.

Little Bits
This is a demo that introduces students to circuitry and electronics. It can be used as review of electricity, current, energy, and circuits. Little Bits are small, open source, modular electronic components that snap together to form more complex circuits. Little Bits are easy-to-use electronic building blocks that empower students to create. The Bits snap together with magnets, no soldering, no wiring, and no programming need. Each component does something different and can easily be
connected to another with a magnetic snap.

Snap Circuits

Snap Circuits are a fun way to learn and explore basic principles of electrical engineering.  Learn by designing and testing a working circuit.

Super Structures

Students use engineering concepts to construct bridges and skyscrapers. Engineering concepts include forces, design, and efficiency.

Coin Cell Battery

A battery stores chemical energy and converts it to electrical energy.  In the coin battery, two different metals, called electrodes, are stacked. One metal is more reactive than other, creating an electrical potential difference, called voltage. Electrons move from one metal to the other through the salt vinegar, an electrolyte solution. The movement of electrons creates an electrical current, which can be used to power an LED or sound a buzzer.

Straw Rockets
Students construct straw rockets to discover the effect of the fin placement on the flight. The stability of an object moving through a fluid is dependent not only on the magnitude of the forces (thrust, drag, lift, and Weight) acting on it but also the location through which they act.

Launching Straw Rockets

The liftoff to the straw rocket demonstrates Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. When raising the mass rod of the launcher to set a height and dropping it, the rod exerts a force. The action of the pressurized air results in the reaction of flight for the straw rocket placed on the end of the tube. Students can test variations in force, trajectory, fin size and shape, and nose cone mass.

Scanning Electron Microscopes

Microscopes will be used for families to see different bugs, plant life, and other awesome things that microscopes can depict for the human eye! SEMEDS is unique program that brings local students and their teachers to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) to operate state-of-the-art scanning electron microscopes in a real life laboratory setting. 

Van de Graaff generator 
A Van de Graaff generator produces static electricity by separating positive and negative charges from each other.  This is a fun way to show students that opposite charges attract and the opposite charges want to get together so much that they will even jump through the air to do it.  If someone is touching the dome, the charge collects on him or her too. The charge spreads out all over them, including their hair. Since each hair is covered with the same kind of charge, each hair wants to get away from the others, and begins to spread out (and stand up).

Virtual Reality Demonstrations

The NMUSAF demonstrates the technology that provides immersive experiences in virtual environments such as navigating through the International Space Station or riding a roller coaster through canyons, or flying an airplane.

Flight Simulator Demonstrations

The NUMSAF provides demonstrations that allow visitors to feel what flying an aircraft is like with interactive flight simulation stations.  The aircraft can range from a basic propeller aircraft to an advanced fighter jet.

Web Based Smart Board STEM Interactive Activities

The NMUSAF STEM Learning Nodes are equipped with Web capable Smart Boards that allow visitors to learn by doing.  Popular experiences include learning how to construct an efficient flying aircraft, the factors that affect trajectory, the concepts of weight and balance, and many more.

Wind Tunnel Demonstrations

This FLO Visualization Tunnel demonstrate aerodynamics. Students can place an object (airfoils, geometric shapes, model airplanes, and more) in the wind tunnel and turn it on while directing fog through the tunnel. They can watch as the airflow runs across the length of the object, providing a great visual learning experience. The wind speed of the tunnel can also be adjusted to test and discuss different variables.


Science Demonstrations presented by local LEGO Robotics League Teams

FIRST LEGO League Junior (ages 6-10)

LEGO WeDo 2.0 Core Sets and tablets will be utilized to give students a hands-on opportunity with programming.  The WeDo 2.0 allows students to take a LEGO model and then make it interactive by building their own code in the programming software.

FIRST LEGO League (ages 9-14)

A 4’ by 8’ competition table with LEGO Mission Models will be in action and a program information table will be available for parents and participants. Two local teams will be invited to participate, one demonstrating their robot on the robot game field and one demonstrating their INTO ORBIT Season Project.

FIRST Robotics Competition (grades 9-12)

A laptop with videos of past games and robots and a demonstration of a T-shirt throwing robot (which is very similar to the FIRST Robotics Competition robots will be provided. The robot is about 120 lbs. with a CO2 controlled Gatling gun. T-shirts will be launched to the families that are attending, and an explanation will be provided on how the robot works.   

Science Demonstrations and Activities to be presented by Colleges, Universities and Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education

3D Printing - Keychains
Clark State Community College will demonstrate how to create 3D printing key chain

Autonomous Vehicle and other table demos
Ohio State University

Bone Repair Design Challenge
Ohio State University 
Students investigate a physical property of materials called “anisotropism”, which means “having different properties in different directions” by considering human bones which are very strong in one direction, but weak in another. In this design challenge, participants make a model of a bone out of a paper roll and measure how many “tuna cans” the bone will support. Then they make another bone and break it by tearing it halfway through in the middle. Using only 2 grams of given materials, the challenge is to repair the bone and see how many cans one can get the “repaired” bone to support. 

Augmented reality
University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI)
Interactive demo that utilizes the static displays.  (Show components under the aircraft skin, expand the engine, react to "gremlins", etc.)  

"Chicken Cannon" 
University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) illustrates how aircraft canopy design is tested for strength and the engineering processes involved during development. 

3D Printing Design Activity
Wright State University
This demonstration will introduce students to entire chain of additive manufacturing and benefits through design. Student will get hands on experience with computer modeling software to customize the design of their choice. The design will then be transferred to a polymer 3D printer and fabricated onsite.

Quantum Dots Demo
Wright State University
Learn how to control light particles that you can't even see.  This Demo gives attendees the chance to see how nanoscience can be used to change the world around us.  Due to their small size, the way that quantum dots interact with light deflects our normal expectations.  Guest will also learn a little about lasers, semiconductors and even quantum mechanics. 

3D Scanning/printing
Youngstown State University
The YSU team will present an interactive 3D scanning and printing demonstration.

Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education
Come have fun exploring how an electrical circuit works by building a valentine for a loved one. Children will color and assemble a small 5x7 inch greeting card, that lights up with an LED and a battery. Children will take the card with them to let someone know that they are the light of their lives.

Science Demonstrations and Activities in the  

National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF)

NAHF's permanent Learning Center
NAHF will feature normally on hand STEM related activities, including NASA trainers that assist visitors in landing the Hubble spacecraft, several simulators that demonstrate aircraft take-off, flying and landing and an interactive exhibiting the Bernoulli Principle.

Center of Science and Industry (COSI)
The COSI "Science Spot" traveling science exhibition gives visitors the opportunity to play, explore, and learn about science together as a family.

National Aviation Heritage Alliance Activities;
Air Camp
Air Camp will demonstrate how lifting bodies propel themselves into space by helping visitors use straw rockets, as well as test drag forces by building sails for visitors to test in Air Camps' own wind tunnel.

Champaign Aviation Museum
Champaign Aviation Museum will bring a "touchable" Norton Bombsite for visitors to see and learn how Allied forces incorporated the world's first computer to measure ground speed and direction to enable greater accuracy in bombing from high altitudes.

Aviation Trail Parachute Museum
Aviation Trail Parachute Museum will bring parachutes for visitors to sample as well as use toys to illustrate how gravity and air resistance are affected by the use of a parachute.

Oakwood High School Energy Team
The Oakwood High School Energy Team will have an Energy Bike, Infrared Cameras, and will rotate Circuit Activities, Sound Demos, Light Demos, and Dry Ice demos. 

Interactive Animal Encounter presented by the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Get an up-close look at a Cheetah, Penguin, Kangaroo, Sloth, Armadillo and Palm Civet!

Note: Events and Demos subject to change.

Accordion Menu